June 6, 2019 Atlanta - Ex-Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the DNC's IWillVote Gala at Flourish Atlanta on Thursday, June 6, 2019. White House hopefuls court Georgia: Presidential candidates swarmed Atlanta on Thursday for a convention geared at African-American strategists and a joint fundraiser featuring four of the best known Democratic contenders on the same stage. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Beto taps Georgia operative for key grassroots role

A second party strategist gets national gig

White House hopeful Beto O’Rourke hired veteran Georgia operative Chrystian Woods to serve as his national outreach director and focus on building what the Texas Democrat’s aides call the “largest grassroots campaign in history.” 

O’Rourke campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Friday that she was impressed by Woods’ work in 2018 to boost Stacey Abrams’ bid for governor and “confront the challenges facing Georgia communities in protecting their fundamental right to vote.”

“We are thrilled to have Chrystian on board leading the effort to bring more people into this democracy and restore confidence that their voices will be heard,” she said. 

Woods, a native Georgian, is currently the interim executive director for the Democratic Party of Georgia. She was previously the party’s deputy executive director after beginning as a deputy field director, where she helped lead efforts to flip suburban counties in the 2016 vote.

Woods is one of two state party staffers to take national gigs this week. The other is Andrea S. Young, the party’s finance and compliance director, who was hired to be the Democratic National Committee’s deputy director of civic engagement and voter protection. 

Woods is the latest Georgia strategist to take a prominent role in White House campaigns. The others include Richard McDaniel, a grassroots specialist working for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren; DeUndre Eberhart, a top deputy of former Vice President Joe Biden; and Michael Tyler, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s deputy communications chief. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.